Applications of ion beam analysis to calcified tissue research
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Various nondestructive ion beam analysis techniques have been developed and applied to study the concentrations of fluorine and other trace elements in calcified tissues.
Fluorine has been determined by prompt gamma activation analysis through the F(ϱ,αγ)O reaction. This method is quick, convenient, and sensitive, and can also be applied to measure fluorine depth distribution nondestructively in teeth and bone samples. By the application of this technique, fluorine concentrations have been determined in a number of teeth with known histories and bones of experimental animals. Moreover, F-depth-distributions to 10-μm depths have also been obtained in a number of selected human and animal teeth.
Carbon was measured by activation analysis with He-3 ions, and the technique of Proton-Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) has been developed to simultaneously determine Ca, P, and trace elements in well-documented teeth. Dental hard tissues, i.e., enamel, dentine, cementum, and their junctions, as well as different parts of the same tissue, have been examined separately. A number of elements, Na, Mg, Al, P, Cl, Ca, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Sr, Br, Rb and Pb, have been determined in these dental tissues. The concentrations of some of these elements vary considerably in different teeth and in various parts of the same tooth.
The special advantages of these nuclear techniques for studying metabolic bone diseases, renal diseases, and the effect of Pb on childrens' intelligence are discussed.